Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Warramunga seized 111 kilograms of heroin valued at $33 million during operations in the Arabian Sea on 7 January 2018.
CAPTION: Able Seaman Stephanie Pannell passes a bag a seized narcotics to Leading Seaman James Walker during an illicit cargo seizure by HMAS Warramunga in the Middle East. Photo by Leading Seaman Tom Gibson.
This is the third successful interdiction for Warramunga in the past fortnight, taking the ship’s total seizures to more than 11.5 tonnes of hashish and 180kg of heroin and a total value of more than $625 million.
The latest operation was carried out under the direction of the Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF’s) Australian-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), after the suspect vessel was assessed to be engaged in possible illegal activity.
Commanding Officer of Warramunga Commander Dugald Clelland said the ship’s company was very proud of its contribution to the mission in recent weeks.
“This seizure was the result of a complex operation involving thorough analysis of historical information, careful surveillance, and hard work by the boarding party,” Commander Clelland said.
Commander CTF 150 Commodore Mal Wise said he was proud of the efforts of the sailors of CTF 150.
“The hard work and dedication of HMAS Warramunga’s company has again been demonstrated by this seizure of narcotics in the Arabian Sea,” Commodore Wise said.
“The ongoing success of CTF 150 in interrupting the flow of narcotics in the Middle East region highlights the enduring importance of a naval partnership like the CMF in promoting security in international waters.”
After being transferred to Warramunga, the narcotics were disposed of at sea.
Warramunga is deployed to the Middle East on Operation Manitou, Australia’s commitment to maritime security and stability in the region, including the CMF.